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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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A comparative study on life cycle analysis of molten carbon fuel cells and diesel engines for marine application

Alkaner, Selim and Zhou, Peilin (2006) A comparative study on life cycle analysis of molten carbon fuel cells and diesel engines for marine application. Journal of Power Sources, 158 (1). pp. 188-199. ISSN 0378-7753

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Abstract

The study performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) plant for marine applications. The results are compared to a benchmark conventional diesel engine (DE) which operates as an auxiliary power generating unit. The LCA includes manufacturing of MCFC and DE, fuel supply, operation and decommissioning stages of the system's life cycle. As a new technology in its very early stages of commercialisation, some detailed data for the FC systems are not available. In order to overcome this problem, a series of scenario analysis has also been performed to evaluate the effect of various factors on the overall impact, such as change in power load factors and effect of recycling credit at the end of life cycle. Environmental benefits from fuel cell operation are maximised with the use of hydrogen as an input fuel. For the manufacturing stage of the life cycle, input material and process energy required for fuel cell stack assemblies and balance-of-plants (BOP) represent a bigger impact than that of conventional benchmark mainly due to special materials used in the stack and the weights of the BOP components. Additionally, recovering valuable materials through re-use or re-cycle will reduce the overall environmental burden of the system over its life cycle.